Hon Beatrice Atim Anywar, the newly appointed State Minister for Environment has promised to rely on her vast experience in environmental activism, to help the country reverse the losses made in environmental protection.
Anywar made the commitment on Wednesday while taking over her new docket from Hon Mary Kitutu, who was sent to the Energy Ministry.
“I thank our president for noticing my potential, and also all Ugandans who saw my work and gave me the name Mama Mabira,” Anywar told press at the Ministry office in Luzira.
“I will use my experience in fighting for the environment to bring about the change that we need.”
The 56-year-old rose to prominence in the mid-2000s, while serving as shadow minister for environment, during her first term in parliament, when she put up a spirited fight against government’s planned giveaway of a portion of Mabira Forest, to a sugar investor.
She rallied tens of thousands to take to the street and government responded by sending the military to her house where she was arrested. About three people were killed in the protests.
Years later however, Anywar fell apart with the establishment of her party, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) and in 2016 she successfully run as an independent candidate for Kitgum Woman MP.
In the months that followed, she dropped all ties with her party and became close to President Yoweri Museveni, even supporting removal of the Presidential Age Limit in Parliament.
The minister, at the hand over, promised she would soon lay out her detailed plan for the ministry in her first 100 days.
Among the issues she promised to tackle head on, she said is climate change and low funding from government.
“People have lost their property because of climate change; we must find ways to quickly reverse this course,” she said.
“Planting trees must become a norm; In my plan I am thinking that perhaps whoever is building a house, every house plan should include planting a tree or two. Every school, every house of prayer must have trees”
Anywar also promised to work with her team to lobby for more funds that should also trickle down to the district level.